Women’s Soccer Ready to Represent at NCAA Tournament

Women’s Soccer Ready to Represent at NCAA Tournament

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Capital University women's soccer team will travel to Centre College to face Hanover College (Ind.) in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Capital's first-round matchup will take place at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 14 at Hillside Field. The victor will take on the winner host Centre and Penn State -Behrend on Sunday for the right to advance to the Round of 16.

JOURNEY TO THE TOURNEY

The Crusaders (14-4-1 overall) captured their third Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship in as many seasons this past Saturday, defeating Ohio Northern University in a shootout (4-3) after playing to a 2-2 draw. With the win, Capital earned its seventh bid to the NCAA Tournament in program history.

Under first-year head coach Matt Ogden, the Crusaders entered 2015 with high expectations. Capital lost its opening game at Olivet College before winning four of its next five.

Capital's loss to nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon University was Capital's last to date, as the team went undefeated in the month of October. In those nine games, the Crusaders outscored their opponents 26-7, recording four shutouts. The Crusaders finished the regular season with a 9-0-0 conference record for the first time in the program's history and earned the conference tournament's top seed. Both OAC Tournament matches went to overtime, resulting in a 1-0 shutout victory over Baldwin Wallace University and a victory via a shootout over Ohio Northern University. Kim Leitch made a key save in the showdown and Maura Fortino ended it with a make in the fifth and final flight of kickers.

LEADERS FOR CAPITAL

Cartmill leads the way for the Crusader offense, tying for third in the OAC with 10 goals. She also leads Capital in points (21), shots (58), shots on goal (31), and game-winners (3).

Hanayik has also proved to be an important piece in Capital's attack with seven goals and 17 points. The sophomore forward has taken 35 shots, 19 on goal while also adding an assist.

Senior goalkeeper Kim Leitch has established herself as one of the top keepers in the conference this season. Leitch is second in the OAC in goals against (12) and goals-against average (0.98). Her .750 save percentage is sixth.

As a team, the Crusaders rank third in goals (43) and have 22 assists, 24 goals, and a .122 shot percentage.

HANOVER PREVIEW

Hanover (15-5-0 overall) is making its third-straight appearance in the NCAA tournament and fourth in last five seasons. The Panthers earned its NCAA tournament berth by winning the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) postseason tournament.

Hanover took care of Transylvania University in the semifinal round before blanking Franklin College 2-0 in the championship match, its 10th shutout of the season.

The Panthers were impressive throughout conference play, earning the regular-season crown with an 8-1-0 league mark.

Hanover and Capital shared three common opponents in the regular season. Hanover received one of its five losses against OAC opponent John Carroll University. The Blue Streaks outlasted the Panthers in double-overtime by a score of 1-0.

The Crusaders and Panthers shared similar fates against their other common opponents, defeating Defiance while falling to Denison.

LEADERS FOR HANOVER

Hanover's top player this season has been Anna Cornacchione. The junior is in a second-place tie in the HCAC with teammate Elaine Simpson in assists with eight, while also ranking second in points (42) and goals (17). Cornacchione leads in almost every other category including a conference-leading 113 shots, shots on goal (42) and a staggering 17 game-winners.

Simpson provides another viable option for the Panthers on offense with 51 shots, 29 on goal, 32 points, 12 goals, and 12 game-winners. Her shot percentage (.235) is a team high.

Senior Morgan Cole has been one of the top goalkeepers in the HCAC this season, posting a 14-2-0 record. The Mason, Ohio native has allowed only 11 goals, while making 41 saves. Her 0.63 goals-against average is the best in the conference. She has recorded a 78.8 save percentage along with seven shutouts.